href=””>Rand Merchant Bank (RMB), an investment banking division of FirstRand, South Africa’s second biggest bank by market value, has launched RMB Nigeria in Lagos, it was announced late on Thursday.

This comes after the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) granted FirstRand an investment banking licence late last year.

This proves that the banking group really aims to become a major player in Nigeria. The bank seeks to build a presence in high-growth African markets with attractive long-term prospects.

This move is consistent with the bank’s strategy as it often enters a new market through the appropriate operating franchise and the rest of the banking group may then follow.

Nigeria currently offers strong growth prospects, particularly with regards to corporate and investment banking, the bank has said.

RMB had been operating in Nigeria from a representative office since January 2010 and was already a player in the Nigerian investment banking sector.

According to Engineering News, RMB CEO Alan Pullinger said the establishment of RMB Nigeria, which required an initial capital investment of $100-million, allowed it to rapidly build its franchise, provide products and services to corporate and institutional clients, as well as employ bankers in the country.

“Although we have already established a track record through our representative office, this enables us to significantly scale up our in-country offerings and play a more prominent role in the growth of the Nigerian economy,” Pullinger told Engineering News.

South Africa’s engineering magazine quoted FirstRand CEO, Sizwe Nxasana, as saying: “This move is consistent with our objectives.”
RMB Nigeria would provide a full spectrum of investment banking services to all industries, including corporate advisory, equity capital markets, infrastructure, project finance, resource finance, structured trade and commodity finance, as well as fixed income, currency and commodity services.


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